Motorcycle helmets have come a long way since Hopper and Fonda were Easy Riders. When compared with the padded leather caps or strapless plastic helmets of yesteryear, the helmets of nowadays are technological wonders offering genuine protection against the threat of serious head injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association says that helmets today they are 37% and 41% effective in preventing fatal injuries in riders and passengers respectively. Case in point, the NHTSA says that helmets saved 1,829 motorcyclist lives in 2008. The Snell Foundation says that helmets act as shock absorbers absorbing the energy caused by collisions, keeping the energy from impacting the brain.
Harder shells, more effective absorbing liners, chin straps, wider ranges of vision and lighter and stronger materials have all combined to make motorcycle helmets what they are today.